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Conflicting Instructions


Conflicting Instructions


Have you ever tried to do something and had problems? No big deal, fire up the Books Online and then do a quick search, and then change your solution.

And it doesn't work.


BOL is the bible for SQL DBAs. IT contains a wealth of information, and while we try to get to questions quickly on this site, BOL is still quicker. If it's accurate.

It isn't always. In fact, like any book, there are problems, typos, even flat out incorrect documetnation. All of which are very frustrating for the end user.

Microsoft knows this. And they've done something about it. There is an update to Books Online that contains over 100 pages of updates, corrections, and new information. A small sample of what's in there:

Renaming a Server (in the Installation section) - the sp_addserver example leaves off the LOCAL parameter.

In the Backup and Recovery section, the Switching Recovery Models, a link was added to the actual procedure for doing this in EM.

In the Backup and Recovery section a minor typo. The original says:While rare in practice, it is possible for the commit of a distributed (cross server) marked transaction to deadlock with other distributed transactions that are committing at the same time.. The update, in case you really need this and are trying to determine whether it affects you, is a minor change:While rare in practice, it is possible for the commit of a distributed (cross-server) marked transaction to deadlock with other distributed marked transactions that are committing at the same time. I know this is a tough thing, but that's not something I'd like to find out after 36 hours debugging problems.

SQL Mail - The old version says: You can start SQL Mail automatically by clicking Autostart SQL Mail when SQL Server Starts on the General tab of the SQL Mail Configuration dialog box. This is removed in the update because it's out of date. Hopefully people will stop looking for this tab in SQL 2000.

In creating a table, and using user-defined datatypes for fields, the original neglects to mention these are not allowed in the table datatype. This is corrected.

There are many more updates, in fact, there is also a 130 page document that contains the list of updates. You can get that at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/release.asp?ReleaseID=31343. It's a sparse document that doesn't detail exactly where the changes always are, so it took me a bit of time to find some of them. No, I didn't check them all, just a couple dozen.

Get this update. It's worth a few minutes of download time to ensure you have the latest infromaiton. It won't be perfect, but it's better than what you've got. Do yourself a favor and right click the link and "save target as" to download the .CAB to your machine. Then you can easily deploy this to all your SQL machines. And I would. You never know when you'll reference Books Online on a SQL Server in the middle of the night.

To get this update, follow the URL below and download the file. It's a .CAB, so the installation instructions are a little different depending on your OS. On Windows XP, it was a simple setup.exe run from Winzip that updated the existing copy of BOL to the new version.

Books On Line Update - www.microsoft.com/sql/techinfo/productdoc/2000/books.asp

Steve Jones

©dkRanch.net October 2002

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